“Many parents and the children they send to college are paying rapidly rising prices for something of declining quality, ” writes George Will in Subprime college educations.
Quoting Glenn Reynolds” new book, The Higher Education Bubble, Will writes that colleges has become a “status marker” for many people, “signaling membership in the educated caste, and a place to meet spouses of similar status.”
Since 1961, the time students spend reading, writing and otherwise studying has fallen from 24 hours a week to about 15 — enough for a degree often desired only as an expensive signifier of rudimentary qualities (e.g., the ability to follow instructions). Employers value this signifier as an alternative to aptitude tests when evaluating potential employees because such tests can provoke lawsuits by having a “disparate impact” on this or that racial or ethnic group.
Just as the government pumped money into mortgages, it’s pumped money into student loans ”with the predictable result that housing prices/college tuitions soared and many borrowers went bust.”
Tuitions and fees have risen more than 440 percent in 30 years as schools happily raised prices — and lowered standards — to siphon up federal money.
Twenty-nine percent of borrowers never graduate, and many who do graduate take decades to repay their loans.
A Forbes writer’s smart, nonconformist son skipped college: At 27, he’s earning as much as friends with a college degree, owns his home and has started a retirement fund. Of course, your mileage may vary.